Choosing the right administrative software for your new school
When it comes to starting a new school, there’s an awful lot to consider and many details to get right. Schools just starting out in the world need to put down a solid foundation on which to build in future years and avoid the growing pains that come with selecting and implementing administrative software down the line. Choosing the right management information system (MIS) can have a big impact on the success of a new school, both in the short term and in years to come.
iSAMS was developed to cater to independent and international schools of all sizes as they grow. The system is 100% web-based, removing the need to spend extra capital on servers and maintenance fees and allowing your staff to access crucial data at any place or time. We looked at the most crucial components to consider when choosing administrative software for your new school:
- Efficient admissions
- A modular system
- Convenient communication
- Manage student profiles
- Protect your data
One of the most crucial functions for a new school is admissions. Without students to teach, there’s very little chance of a school going on to become an established name. School admissions teams need to manage enquiries, take registration payments, and report on data efficiently.
First impressions are also very important. Choosing a school for their child is a big decision for a parent, so the admissions process for your new school needs to be simple and effective, reflecting the professionalism of your organisation.
The iSAMS Admissions Portal provides your staff with an online, paperless method to manage the admissions process from enquiry to enrolment. Our enquiry form is fully customisable and matches your school’s branding, fitting in seamlessly with your school’s website. Parents can complete an enquiry or registration form from any device at their own pace, as well as attaching any necessary documents and paying fees.
The solution also enables your admissions teams to monitor all incoming enquiry forms, with automated email notifications and applicant flagging when a deposit is outstanding, plus personalised emails that can be sent to parents to confirm an application has been submitted. Data is pulled directly into the iSAMS Admissions module, allowing you to efficiently manage all applicants, build up a picture of your admissions process in real-time and compare year-on-year results.
To see more of our Admissions Portal and Admissions module, you can view a demo here.
In the early years, many schools eschew using an established MIS, either because they don’t think they need one when the school is small or because they perceive the costs to be too high.
We frequently speak to schools that began life using a paper-based filing system, standard Excel spreadsheets or a system developed in-house. These methods often work for small schools for a short period, but quickly become unwieldy and unfit for purpose as the school grows and evolves.
iSAMS was designed as a modular system to meet the needs of schools, regardless of their infancy in requirements of an MIS. Using this approach, schools can select the basic functionality they require and build a system that works for their exact requirements, without having to pay for elements they don’t need.
When the need for extra features arises, it’s a simple process to get in touch with one of our dedicated Customer Account Manager to discuss adding them to your plan. Using this approach, new schools can store high quality, organised data from the very beginning, and let their MIS evolve with them on the journey.
When choosing whether to enrol their child at a new school, parents today expect two-way communication that goes beyond letters sent home in bookbags. Access to information about their child’s school career is an important consideration for parents.
iSAMS offers a wealth of communication tools to ensure teachers, parents and students are well connected, including a suite of multilingual portals and apps that meet the needs of students and parents accustomed to working with smartphones.
Using the iStudent App or Portal, students can quickly view their timetable information and teaching groups, access their grades and reports, see detentions, activities, school news and more. The iParent App or Portal gives parents access to all of this information, as well as the ability to subscribe to your school communications including emails and SMS messages.
The iTeacher App gives your teachers a quick and easy method of sending messages – via email or SMS – to individual parents or groups.
As a new school, you’ll likely need a simple way of keeping on top of all the student data you collect. With our Student Profiles module, you can easily view and retrieve a student’s complete record – with data pulled from over 20 different modules. The module is an excellent resource ahead of parent-teacher meetings or report writing, as it provides a full record of everything the student has done.
The module gives you access to registration data, the student’s curriculum programme, internal and external exam arrangements, reports and assessment data and much more.
Alongside typical student data, it’s worthwhile starting early with a record of student wellbeing. Our Wellbeing Manager module is a space in your MIS dedicated to recording, monitoring and managing student concerns and wellbeing.
As your students move through the school, the Wellbeing Manager provides a historical record of wellbeing and child protection concerns. Designed specifically to cater to teachers and pastoral managers, the module enables staff to set actions, monitor concerns over time and flag important cases.
With more and more activities being conducted online, countries around the world have sought to introduce legislation to protect the rights and personal data of citizens, including GDPR applying to countries in the European Union, PDPA in Thailand and Singapore and the Privacy Act in Australia.
These laws contain subtle differences, but in essence, they attempt to regulate how organisations obtain and store data, and how they must act in the event of a significant data breach.
The iSAMS Data Protection module was designed to help schools comply with these regulations. The module helps schools to capture consent at the time of enquiry for applicants and associated contacts, pulling this information into the iSAMS system for when the student is enrolled.
The Data Subject Access Requests (DSAR) feature enables you to record DSAR requests against a data subject, including the status of the request, the date and other key information.
If you’d like to arrange a demonstration of iSAMS to see how we can support your new school, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to arrange this.